Facing God Together, Illustrated

Further to my post from yesterday on ad orientem celebration of Mass, Amy Welborn has posted today a great photograph that illustrates the concept well. It’s in #6 of THIS POST on her blog. Check it out.


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4 Responses to Facing God Together, Illustrated

  1. jzpd says:

    I’m only familiar with the OF. I’ve always understood that our priest is praying with us to God, not to us as he celebrates Mass. This, in the same manner as is understood in Judaism where the Talmud teaches when two sit and study Torah together the Shekinah, or spirit or glory of God occupies the space between them. I understand your point on the importance of posture, Father, but I believe attentive reverence in worshipping God is most important. If ever the Mass style changes to Ad Orientem my husband and I will continue to attend and worship prayerfully, just as we do now, but for the time being we are thankful to have the privilege to attend and receive Jesus in the currently approved form. Either way, our focus is on our Lord.

    • I’m glad that you are at least open to it. There is a lot more to it than I have said here. Perhaps you have also been blessed not to have priests who change the words and otherwise make things “meaningful”, in part due to the pressure of being on display for the people.

      • jzpd says:

        I don’t ever recall any of our priests changing the words or doing what you describe, Fr. Jerabek. I’ll have to ask our Pastor if he feels pressured or on display, but I can envision him asking who I might think he had to impress? We’re a rag-tag community who show up week after week no matter the weather, not expecting to be entertained. We sing badly to a guitar played poorly. Father is always available for Confession before Mass, or at any time we request, and we receive Holy Communion weekly, leave feeling strengthened and ready to face the week ahead. I sense there is indeed more to the TLM than you describe, and perhaps one day our Holy Father will call for a re-ordering of the Mass. I’m aware there is a great divide between liberals and traditionalists, but my husband and I aren’t up for arguing with anyone. We’re open to whatever changes may come.

      • Lest this be seen as a TLM vs. Novus Ordo thing, it is important to recall that the rubrics of the Novus Ordo take it for granted that the priest is facing “east”, i.e. in the same direction of the people, thus, as it does in the TLM rubrics, it specifically says when he is supposed to turn and face the people. The fact that Mass began to be celebrated facing the people (i.e., against what the rubrics foresee) was not something legislated, but ideological. For a priest to begin celebrating the Novus Ordo this way (i.e. facing “east”), he would not be imposing or otherwise importing something in from a bygone era, but simply doing what the Missal itself foresees, in continuity with centuries of tradition. It is interesting to note that the Novus Ordo has been through three editions now and those rubrics were never changed, even though other things were. Mass “facing the people” is certainly permitted and many people find it life-giving, I do not deny that; but I do want to caution against seeing this in terms of liberal/conservative, TLM/Novus Ordo, Latin/English, or any other divide. Thanks for your comments.

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